Why Marriott has the brands it has

Old Dec 16, 18, 2:56 pm
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Why Marriott has the brands it has

Good read:


Why Do Hotel Companies Have So Many Brands?

By Josh Barro

Why Do Hotel Companies Have So Many Brands?

In 2016, Marriott Hotels, which had 19 hotel brands, merged with Starwood, which had 11. They didn’t abolish any brands in the merger, and so the company faced a challenge: How to explain to customers, or even to its own employees, what makes all 30 of these brands different from each other.

...

CEO Arne Sorenson has taken to calling the spaces occupied by similarly positioned Marriott brands “swim lanes”; as in a crowded pool, you may have to share one.

...

But is it really a problem to have so many brands? Marriott is, after all, the world’s leading hotel company. Two years after the merger, Marriott has shown it’s possible to live and thrive with 30 brands, even if your customers don’t really understand them all.

...

“If we had not merged with Starwood, would we be trying to build 30 brands from scratch?” Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson asked, rhetorically, on Marriott’s November 6, 2016, earnings call, the first after the Starwood merger closed. “I think the answer is probably not. At the same time, having done this deal, the 30 brands all exist. They all have substantial capital that has been invested in them, particularly by the hotel owners who have made deliberate bets about which flag they put on their hotels. And we don’t have the power to, nor the desire to, try and convince them that those bets have not been good bets.”

That’s the first thing about Marriott’s brand challenge: It can’t easily get rid of any of its brands even if it wants to. The hotel owners won’t let them.
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Old Dec 16, 18, 3:25 pm
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The author brought up the topic of hotel brands (like Renaissance or Doubletree) that exist primarily as a place to reflag hotels that no longer fit the standards of the brand that they were previously affiliated with. But the author failed to develop that topic. Perhaps the editor trimmed some text to make the article fit a predertermined word count. And extended-stay hotel brands were not mentioned at all despite being shown in the article's graphics.
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Old Dec 16, 18, 3:41 pm
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Originally Posted by amanuensis View Post
The author brought up the topic of hotel brands (like Renaissance or Doubletree) that exist primarily as a place to reflag hotels that no longer fit the standards of the brand that they were previously affiliated with. But the author failed to develop that topic. Perhaps the editor trimmed some text to make the article fit a predertermined word count. And extended-stay hotel brands were not mentioned at all despite being shown in the article's graphics.
Technically, it was Gary Leff, the View from the Wing blogger, who claimed that Renaissance is a conversion brand, not the writer. I don't agree with Leff's assessment. Delta is really Marriott's conversion brand. Renaissance may have some local art, but even Marriott's renovated and new-build properties have some local elements now. Renaissance is more corporate boutique, than a dumping ground for conversions.
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Old Dec 16, 18, 3:54 pm
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nice that article provides answer - providing many options for owners so owners dont go elsewhere

no such thing as a conversion brand, only brands which happen to have a bunch of conversions

Hospitality Magazine: Do we have too many sub-brands in a hotel group?
in post 4 i keep track of hotel counts
with these counts, going to have lots of brands
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Old Dec 16, 18, 3:59 pm
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Originally Posted by hockeyinsider View Post
Technically, it was Gary Leff, the View from the Wing blogger, who claimed that Renaissance is a conversion brand, not the writer. I don't agree with Leff's assessment. Delta is really Marriott's conversion brand. Renaissance may have some local art, but even Marriott's renovated and new-build properties have some local elements now. Renaissance is more corporate boutique, than a dumping ground for conversions.
Perhaps you are both right. Delta used to be a Canadian chain. So perhaps Marriott originally planned to use Renaissance but now uses Delta post-acquisition. Or maybe they are both used for reflagging, but at different spots on the food chain. My sense is that a Renaissance is more upscale in its target than Delta is.
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Old Dec 16, 18, 4:07 pm
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many brands vary dramatically - Renaissance is an example
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Old Dec 16, 18, 4:40 pm
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Early in its brand life, Renaissance was a conversion brand, among other things. That is no longer the case.
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Old Dec 16, 18, 6:53 pm
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Interesting article but don't really understand the focus on Renn. I'm trying to think of a Renn that was reflagged from another brand. In general, I see it as a general equivalent of a Marriott with an attempt to have a more local/stylish flair. It was Marriott's attempt to move toward a light version of a W, without attracting the sneak six people into a room with a cooler crowd.
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Old Dec 16, 18, 6:57 pm
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While I like the Ren brand generally (more than Marriott and Sheraton personally), it also has a pretty insanely high spread of property quality...in the US alone some gems and some dumps...and the dumps are pretty bad.
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Old Dec 17, 18, 12:49 am
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yes as i heard the reason was its expected to grow by more than 70 percent
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Old Dec 17, 18, 2:28 am
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Originally Posted by amanuensis View Post
The author brought up the topic of hotel brands (like Renaissance or Doubletree) that exist primarily as a place to reflag hotels that no longer fit the standards of the brand that they were previously affiliated with. But the author failed to develop that topic. Perhaps the editor trimmed some text to make the article fit a predertermined word count. And extended-stay hotel brands were not mentioned at all despite being shown in the article's graphics.
But then you have brand new Renaissance (Warsaw Airport). So it isn't like it now dropped below standard and is being rebadged.

0 David
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Old Dec 17, 18, 6:13 am
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I'm not sure what the Ren's history is, so maybe it was a conversion brand at one point. But it's not now, it has it's own identity. And it's certainly not a brand that captures hotels that fallen below brand standards, unless you're comparing it to a JW. To me, it sits a step above a FS Marriott or Sheraton - a solid hotel for business travelers that want a nicer hotel than the regular old Marriott. When I travel for work, if there's a Ren in the same general area as a FS Marriott and they're relatively similar in price, I'll take the Ren every time.

Calling it a "conversion brand" makes it sound like a hodge-podge of hotels that don't fit or have an identity, and that's not been my experience.
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Old Dec 17, 18, 7:08 am
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My first stay at a Renaissance was at the Ramada Renaissance Hotel in Aurora, Colorado, around 1983 or 1984, long before Marriott acquired Renaissance in 1997. (This particular hotel, which was the first Renaissance Hotel, is no longer a Renaissance.)

Here's a New York Times article from 1997 about the acquisition: https://www.nytimes.com/1997/02/19/b...quisition.html

Back in 1997 when hotel companies each had far fewer brands, it seemed odd to have two similarly-positioned full-service brands.

At first, Marriott tended to use the Renaissance brand at locations where there was already a full-service Marriott, both for new construction and for rebranded hotels. Renaissance Hotels could have more personality than Marriott Hotels. But there always seemed to be a struggle for identity.

Fast forward to today... Renaissance is one of many full-service brands in the Marriott family of brands.

I would not call Renaissance a conversion brand, even though there a quite a few Renaissance Hotels that were built as something else.
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Old Dec 17, 18, 7:55 am
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Interesting article but don't really understand the focus on Renn. I'm trying to think of a Renn that was reflagged from another brand. In general, I see it as a general equivalent of a Marriott with an attempt to have a more local/stylish flair. It was Marriott's attempt to move toward a light version of a W, without attracting the sneak six people into a room with a cooler crowd.
Some of the renovated and new-build Renaissance properties are great. I'd rank the average Renaissance slightly higher than the average Marriott, if only because the average Renaissance employs a concierge (called a "navigator") and also offers full-service room service whereas the average Marriott doesn't have a concierge and many properties are adopting the limited-service Fresh Bites room service menu in which food is delivered in bags with plastic silverware. Also, many or most Renaissance properties seem to have a restaurant and bar -- often with some panache -- compared with the after-thought bars and restaurants in many or most Marriott properties.

Renaissance would be much better off if Marriott would re-flag some of the remaining Renaissance airport and resort properties to Delta or another brand and instead focus on the good properties that actually represent the corporate boutique branding.

I would guess that most or all of the dumpy properties and airport properties flagged as Renaissance have management or licensee contracts with Marriott that long predate the current incarnation of Renaissance. There's no reason why, say, the Newark Renaissance is flagged Renaissance. It's more Delta or Sheraton than Renaissance. The same for the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino.
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Old Dec 17, 18, 10:35 am
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Renaissance IMO was Marriott’s attempt to compete with SPG’s Le Meridien/Westin—full service hotels with personality before the whole lifestyle approach emerged with W and its imitators. Let’s face it: Marriott was never great with personality.

Renaissance now is a lot more like Le Méridien in its branding but not nearly as consistent. I’d say Renaissance today suffers an identity issue not completely incomparable to that suffered by Sheraton: some very nice properties mixed up with a lot more mediocre properties that drag down the esteem of the brand. I generally think of Renaissance as a more personable Marriott but not necessarily one that’s nicer or better. I generally still think of Le Meridien and Westin as being a bit nicer and better overall (and with more personality) than Sheraton, Marriott, and Renaissance.

The fact is that Marriott has so many brands now and is doing fine with so many brands. It suits owners to not pay more to convert into fewer brands. It suite customers to have so many options available via Marriott.com, even if the brand association doesn’t always work the way we might hope. It particularly suits Marriott to have customers searching Marriott.com rather than OTAs for hotel bookings. It also allows Marriott the opportunity in the future to tighten the brand standards a bit for each of the many brands, something that Marriott used to be very good at doing. The question will be whether or not Marriott can tighten and/or encourage positive standards for brands that actually have a lot of personality!
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